Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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Good Game. It was fun

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Unless you've been living under a rock buried deep in an underwater cave, then you are well aware that Online Poker is history in the US.  I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything, but I wanted to post about my feelings on the future of online poker.

This post isn't meant to give you an in depth analysis of the indictments or keep you up to date for the latest news.  For that visit some of the following:

@Kevmath on Twitter

Ck's Blog

Bill Rini's Blog

Plus many others on twitter, in the blog-o-sphere, on the forums, etc, etc. 

Future of Online Poker (IMO) 

I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer, but I think that there is a very low likelihood of online poker getting regulated in the US in the near future.  It is easy for online poker players to say that the DOJ's move to shut down the FTP, PS, and UB/AP is the first step of the government's larger plan to regulate and tax online poker.  The reality of the situation is quite different in my (probably unpopular) opinion.  This is not a calculated move by the government to get their piece of the pie.  It is, simply, the government shutting down what they believe to be illegal activity that has been consistently and increasingly flaunted in their face with the ever increasing .NET advertising in print, online, and on TV.  Simple as that.

Do I think online poker will be regulated in the near future?  I hope I'm wrong, but No. (maybe 5% chance by the end of the year)   I don't think it will even be discussed in legislative committees on the federal level until these cases are resolved.  The members of Congress that were on the fence on regulated online poker will most likely shy away from the issue because the average American doesn't know any of the details of the case.  All they see is "Online Poker sites shut down by the government because they are illegal."  We know that is not the true picture, but the average American doesn't.  These middle of the road members of Congress are going to realize that some of their constituents are going to see them as backing illegal gambling because so many voters are idiots.

Do I think online poker will ever be regulated?  Yes.  I would put the chance around 35% by the end of 2012 and increasing each year.  It may take some state's passing online poker bills and the federal government challenging the states' rights to offer online poker plus all the red tape that follows.  I'm not sure when or how this will happen, but I think that is the most likely way we get online poker - states allowing it and the fed govt eventually deciding it should be implemented and taxed.

It makes me sad to think of online poker going away.  I started playing well before most and have enjoyed it immensely over the years.  More in my next post......